November 10, 2017

Here at Bethel we have a core value that God is good. What helps us actually grasp this is the saying that “God is in a good mood.” I know that many people say God is good but they see His goodness as His unyielding moral standing, rather than a part of His personality or nature. When I think about the Creator of the universe being in an actual good mood, it helps put things into perspective. It makes Him feel closer and more personal. It makes Him feel more approachable and relatable. It makes Him feel more like a friend than a master.

The truth is that God is infinite and has so many names and facets that it’s impossible to put Him in a box, but Scripture shows us that He does want to relate to us as friends. He’s calling us into intimacy, connection and conversation…. Just as a friend would. Is that how you see God?

Check out this week’s Flashback Friday video for more:

In a nutshell:

  • Exodus 32:9-14 says (emphasis added), “The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”
    Then Moses entreated the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.”
  • When God changed His mind in these verses, do you think He had made a mistake in the first place? Or maybe He was just getting old and forgot His promises? Absolutely not!
  • I think that sometimes when God prophesies to us, He’s testing our hearts rather than determining our destiny.
  • Moses’ response showed God that he was a leader. God’s response to Moses shows us that he is a friend of God, not just a slave.
  • If you’re a slave of God then you only have a one-way relationship with Him and you just do what you’re told. However, if you’re a friend of God then you are invited into a relationship and an interaction with Him. Friends influence friends. God tells friends what He’s thinking.
  • In Chapter 33 of Exodus, God said He’d be faithful to His promise but that He wasn’t going with the Israelites to the Promised Land. He’d rather send an angel to go ahead of them.
  • Moses said to God that he’d rather be in the wilderness with God than in the promised land with an angel. So God said He’d go with them. This is another sign of friendship over slavery.
  • Some people who are just slaves may see signs and wonders, but have no idea that they only have an angel and don’t have God’s presence with them.
  • When you’re a friend of God, you care more about His presence than His promises.
  • God wants to move us from slavery into friendship. He’s shifting the church now because He doesn’t want a bride who is a slave girl.

Do you see yourself as a slave or friend of God? And maybe the more challenging question is do you value His presence over His promises? Of course God is faithful and fulfills His word, without a doubt! But sometimes that doesn’t always look the way we imagine. In the place where you are holding onto His promises, will you hold even tighter to His presence?

Who Is Your Israel?

Today I want to ask you to think about who your Israel is. In the same way that Moses asked for mercy for his people, as friends of God we can ask Him to have mercy in the situations we’re facing today. Will you stand in the gap, lean into God’s heart, and be willing to have a conversation with Him? Maybe He won’t change His mind, but rather share revelations of His goodness that we wouldn’t otherwise know. Have you ever experienced this? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Topics: All TopicsIdentityLeadership


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